Women’s Cross Country Confident Entering 2015 Season

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Despite losing two of its top four runners, the Kansas State’s women’s cross country team is entering the 2015 season with confidence.

The team will look to replace graduating seniors Erika Schiller and Laura Galvin, but second-year head coach Ryun Godfrey is optimistic that this group can produce good results going forward.

“We are week into practice and we are trying to get into a routine,” Godfrey said. “They have done a good job in just a weeks’ time and I really like this group a lot.”

The Wildcats return two seniors, four juniors and three sophomores from the 2014 squad, which finished sixth at the Big 12 Championships and eighth at the Midwest Regional. The team will also add three talented freshmen as well as senior transfer Paige Stratioti. 

Junior Morgan Wedekind will be a major factor for the team entering the new season after earning both All-Big 12 and All-Midwest Region honors as a sophomore. She posted five top-25 finishes in 2014, including first place at the J.K. Gold Classic Duals, while also finishing 20th and 25th at the Big 12 Championships and Midwest Regionals, respectively. 

Senior Mary Frances Donnelly also had a very productive 2014 season with five top-50 finishes, including a seventh-place finish at the J.K. Gold Classic Duals. She was also 29th at the Big 12 Championships and 37th at the Midwest Regional.

Sophomore Kayla Doll is one runner that Godfrey believes will have an impact on the team this season.

Doll is coming off the 2014 campaign where she placed 22nd at the J.K. Gold Classic Duals in her first race as a Wildcat. She would finish the season placing 81st at the Big 12 Championships. 

“Kayla has made big improvements from a year ago,” Godfrey said. “She is going to be a solid runner for us.”

The team will also look for the newcomers to step up and have a positive impact.

Stratioti, who followed Godfrey to K-State from North Dakota State for the 2014 track and field season, was a two-time All-American for the Bison in the 4x400-meter relay and was an 18-time Summit League champion in track.

Of the freshmen, Godfrey specifically mentioned Emma Wren as an immediate impact for the Wildcats. A native of Portland, Oregon, she was a three-time All-State honoree in cross country as well as the Class 5A state champion in the 3,000-meter run.

“Emma is probably the freshman that will contribute right away,” Godfrey said. “She could be a top five or top six girl easily.”

The 2015 season will kick off in Lawrence, Kansas, at the Bob Timmons Classic on September 1. 

For the latest on K-State cross country, follow @kstatesports on Twitter using the hashtag #KStateXC or on Facebook.